Friendly Letter

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INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
ICT
ICT (information and communications technology - or technologies) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning. ICTs are often spoken of in a particular context, such as ICTs in education, health care, or libraries. In recent years there has been a groundswell of interest in how computers and the Internet can best be harnessed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education at all levels and in both formal and non-formal settings. But ICTs are more than just these technologies; older technologies such as the telephone, radio and television, although now given less attention, have a longer and richer history as instructional tools. For instance, radio and television have for over forty years been used for open and distance learning, although print remains the cheapest, most accessible and therefore most dominant delivery mechanism in both developed and developing countries. The use of computers and the Internet is still in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high costs of access. ICT has been emerging from the concepts of IT, meaning basically computers and communication technology, and digital data networks as the latest phase of development, but also TV, satellites, phone, etc. Due to a trend of merging different technologies (all technologies seem to merge together in one way or another), there was a reason to start speaking of ICT as opposed to IT. ICT captures all the latest technologies used for communication, data processing and data storage. However, what I hear in discussions is talk of computers: desktops, laptops, servers that are needed in schools. The internet is referred to, but the discussion is more about rolling out computers in each of the schools, for each of the teachers or for each of the children.  IT and communication technologies have been used to solve two different problems in education. Computer based learning and teaching was developed to make learning more efficient and more interesting for learners. This addressed the problem of quality of education. A longer tradition of distance education exists. It began with very tangible communication technologies like letters, then it moved to audiovisual materials, TV and radio, and finally e-mail and web based learning. It solved the problem of accessibility to education. It brought education services to people who could not come to schools or educational institutions.

ICT Integration in Education 
Historically ICT has been emerging from the concepts of IT, meaning basically computers and communication technology, and digital data networks as the latest phase of development, but also TV, satellites, phone, etc. Due to a trend of merging different technologies (all technologies seem to merge together in one way or another), there was a reason to start speaking of ICT as opposed to IT . ICT captures all the latest technologies used for communication, data processing and data storage. However, what I hear in discussions is talk of computers: desktops, laptops, servers that are needed in schools. The internet is referred to, but the discussion is more about rolling out computers in each of the schools, for each of the teachers or for each of the children. So, what happened to ICTs? IT and communication technologies have been used to solve two different problems in education. Computer based learning and teaching was developed to make learning more efficient and more interesting for learners. This addressed the problem of quality of education. A longer tradition of distance education exists. It began with very tangible communication technologies like letters, then...
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